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How Much Does a Health Coach Make?
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A health coach plays an important role in helping people make better choices, change their lifestyles, and meet goals. Also known as wellness coaches, these professionals can be certified or not and may work as employees or start their own businesses.
If you’re interested in working with people to set and meet health goals, consider becoming a health coach. You have a lot of options in the growing health and fitness industry. One important factor in choosing a career is salary.
Health Coach Salary Averages
You’ll find a lot of different sources as you begin searching for expected salaries for health coaches. You will also see different names for this career. As you do your research, search on health coach, wellness coach, and health and wellness coach.
All of these provide useful information on what you can earn in a health coach career. It’s also important to look at salaries in different regions, states, and cities. The average salary across the U.S. covers a wide variety of professionals earning more in big cities like New York and a lot less in small gyms in rural areas.
How Much Does a Health Coach Make Annually in the U.S.?
Several job site sources report average annual salaries for health coaches throughout the U.S., in all industries, and for all types of companies. For instance, Glassdoor.com reports an average salary of $46,350 per year.
Ziprecruiter.com puts the average annual salary for health coaches at $48,227. A different metric, median salary, represents the figure in the middle of all jobs in the U.S. Salary.com puts this figure for health coaches at $60,140 per year.
What is the Average Hourly Rate for a Health and Wellness Coach?
Indeed.com reports several metrics for health coach hourly wages:
- $15.89 per hour on average across the U.S.
- $13.66 per hour with less than one year of experience
- $21.70 per hour for ten or more years of experience
- $17.50 per hour in Phoenix, AZ
- $21.77 per hour in Denver, CO
- $15.50 per hour in Pittsburgh, PA
These figures show some variation between regions and experience levels. Other factors play a role in earnings, including certification, employer vs. self-employed coaches, online work, and range of services offered. Will you be a holistic health coach, offer group coaching, or also include life coaching? Make sure you do research for your area and the type of job you hope to have before making a decision.
How Does Certification Affect Salary?
As with most careers, your earnings are likely to go up with certification. State governments generally don’t require certification or licensing for fitness and coaching, but most clients are inclined to hire those with credentials. This means you can command a higher fee. Employers are also likely to pay a higher rate for a certified health coach.
Statistics for pay for certified vs. non-certified health coaches is limited, but you can earn more as a certified coach for several reasons:
- Employers are more likely to hire coaches with certification.
- You can get a higher hourly rate or annual salary from an employer.
- As a freelancer or with your own business, you can command a higher hourly rate.
- You’ll draw more clients who are interested in hiring certified coaches.
- You can offer more services and therefore charge more.
- Certification programs teach you business skills that help you run your business more efficiently.
In your search for a career, it makes sense to compare salaries. This blog breaks down earning expectations for personal trainers.
How Much Does a Health Coach Make? Real-World Examples
To get an idea of the possibilities, it helps to look at some of the bigger job sites. Type in health coach and your state or city, and you’ll see what employers currently offer. Here are some examples from Indeed.com:
- Health Coach with VitaLife in Orland Park, Illinois starting at $15 per hour
- Health Coach at GHFITLAB in Chicago starting at $40,000 per year
- Wellness Coach at Batash Medical Endoscopic Weight Loss Center in Rego Park NY, for $20 to $25 per hour
- Jenny Craig Health & Wellness Coach in Hartsdale, NY for $18.25 to $18.75 per hour
- Health Coach at Washington-Harris Group in El Paso, TX for $21.37 per hour
- Health Coach with AND Health in Columbus, Ohio, for $56,000 to $71,000 per year
- Health Coach at Altru Health System in Grand Forks, North Dakota for $27.80 to $41.71 per hour
Some of these positions require certification. Employers may want to see experience as a coach or personal trainer.
Where Do Health Coaches Work?
Many companies employ health and wellness coaches. Look for gyms and fitness centers, health insurance companies, healthcare companies, hospital systems, medical centers, and health and diet apps or software companies to find open positions. According to Glassdoor.com, these are the top companies hiring health coaches in 2021:
- Vida Health
- Health Fitness
- Johns Hopkins Health System
- UnitedHealth Group
- Virgin Pulse
- Jenny Craig
These large companies are the biggest employers. They are all health, fitness, or wellness-focused. You can also find health coach jobs with non-health companies. Some large corporations offer employees wellness benefits, which may include health coaching services.
What About Starting Your Own Coaching Business?
One of the great things about a career in health coaching or wellness coaching is the flexibility. This career is well-suited to working in the traditional role as an employee, but also to entrepreneurship and freelancing. If you’re interested in setting your own hours and rates, consider starting a health coaching business or program.
The question of what you can earn as a self-employed coach is difficult to answer with specifics. There is so much variety depending on a number of factors:
- Where you live and work
- How many clients you take
- How you set your hourly rates
- Your certification and level of experience
- Services offered
- Competitor rates in the area
You need to consider all these factors when estimating what you can earn on your own as opposed to as an employee. If you are prepared to work hard, to hustle for clients and prove your worth to them, the sky is the limit for earnings as a successful health coach. Motivated coaches can potentially earn more than they would as employees.
Check out this ISSA post for great advice on building your career in fitness and nutrition.
Salary isn’t everything, but it does matter. While you may have a passion for health and helping people, you still need to earn a living. Health coaching has great potential for making a good income, and earnings vary by individual, type of job, and type of career. As you figure out your future in the industry, consider salary as one of many important factors in your decision.
ISSA’s Heath Coach Certification is the perfect jumping-off point for a career as a health coach. Learn the fundamentals of fitness, health, nutrition coaching, and goal setting, so you can work with clients to help them meet their goals.